Go to OCA Home
Login to your account

Younger Women

Younger Women

Younger women with ovarian cancer may feel isolated and feeling their specific needs and concerns are not being addressed. This page will provide you with information and links to other services available to you.

Ovarian cancer is more common in women over the age of 50. This means that younger women with ovarian cancer may feel isolated in their experience, or unsure as to how to navigate their diagnosis with their unique needs in mind. 

Younger women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer can find it especially confronting to be faced with themes around their health and mortality at an age and time in their life they were not expecting. The challenges surrounding family, fertility, sexuality, challenges of surgical menopause, and potential to return to work can be found across all life-stages with cancer; however, these themes can be particularly pronounced within this age-group.  

It is important to have support, resources, and conversations about your experiences with your unique needs and individual circumstances in mind.  

Having children after ovarian cancer treatment

If you wish to have children now or think you might in the future, it is very important to talk to your team of specialists before your treatment  begins. There have been many advances in fertility treatments. Options for preserving your fertility may include:   

  • Surgery to protect your ovaries from treatments   

  • Fertility-sparing surgery   

  • Embryo banking/freezing   

  • Egg banking/freezing; ovarian tissue banking/freezing.   


There are a range of factors that can influence the cost of fertility treatment. We encourage you to discuss your options with your treating doctor or fertility specialist to understand any fees and rebates you may be entitled to. 

Not all options will be suitable for all women, some women may not be able to use any of them and some might feel this is not the right decision for them after consultation.  

Several factors will affect your choices for fertility preservation before and after treatment for ovarian cancer.   

These include:   

  • Age 

  • The stage of your cancer 

  • The type of treatment planned. 

For more information, ask a member of your healthcare team to refer you to a local fertility preservation service. If you have more advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, your treatment will most likely involve removal of both your ovaries and your uterus and you will not be able to become pregnant. You may have an overwhelming sense of loss and feel angry and cheated. Talking about your feelings and getting some  emotional support  can help you cope with your loss. You may also want to speak with your specialist about other options for having children, such as adoption and surrogacy.   

Michelle shares her experience with ovarian cancer and fertility preservation.

More information:

Sexual health, body image and intimacy

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer and its treatment often changes a person’s sexual function as well as associated feelings, thoughts and behaviour towards intimacy and sexuality. These changes lead many people to feel confused, isolated, sad and uncertain about their future sex life. Changes to your body from treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy may change a persons view of their own body. You may feel your body no longer looks good, fear being touched or worry it is not working as it used to. Your body may no longer feel like yours and this can impact negatively on your self-esteem.  

Ovarian Cancer Australia have a range of resources and supports addressing sexuality, intimacy, and body image, including a dedicated sexual health counselling program and booklet.

Sexuality, Body Image, Relationships and Ovarian Cancer

A comprehensive and practical resource addressing changes and concerns regarding sexuality, body image, relationships following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Early menopause after treatment

If you have your ovaries and uterus removed, you will have an ‘immediate’ or ‘surgical’ menopause. Instead of the gradual transition that usually happens with age, you may get sudden symptoms. This can be a shock and adjusting emotionally can take time. There are effective treatments and health professionals to help you cope with surgical menopause.  

Our page, early menopause after treatment, includes further information and links to resources that you may find helpful.  

Talking to and caring for children

If you have younger children, you may worry about how to tell them about your cancer. You may also have concerns about how you will look after your children during and after treatment.  

Our page, talking to children and your family, has more information as well as resources that can assist and support you and your family.  

Work, study and finances

Being diagnosed with cancer at a younger age may have a significant impact on your career, study and your financial situation. This can be extremely stressful. ‘link to practical matters page’ and our page 'work, study and finances' discusses practical issues, including services that can provide financial support and managing your return to work or study.  

Younger women's network

Ovarian Cancer Australia have a range of online and face-to-face support groups, to connect people living with ovarian cancer to share their experiences and find support. The Younger Women's Network is an online facilitated support group for people diagnosed with ovarian cancer under the age of 50. The group is held on the fourth monday of each month from 7pm to 8pm AET. The group allows younger women an opportunity to meet others going through similar experiences.

Visit our online support groups page to learn more or to register for a support group

Want to talk?

Ovarian Cancer Australia's Helpline is available to call 9am - 5pm AET Monday to Friday 

Acknowledgement flags

Ovarian Cancer Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where our office is located, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and we pay our respects to Elders past and present.